Sunday, May 1, 2011

Playing with War of the Mecha

Got in a game of War of the Mecha this weekend.  Two players, one lance each.  I was hoping to try the Clan Invasion expansion but that more sort of just didn't quite happen.
The size of the clickymechs (and the Blockhead gashapon) was dealt with by doubling the distances/speeds given in WotM.  Also, I said that a 45° turn costs 1" movement.  Dead simple rule adjustments.
I still find remarkable how a one-page game catches so much of the essential feel of the full Battletech rules.
The only quibble I have with WotM is the critical hit table.  There's a one-in-six chance of the critical hit not being a critical hit.  It's the "no soup" principle explained by another game-blogger I can't recall or track down at the moment.  There's no mechanism in WotM for losing heat sinks, so I may house rule the chart to say lose 1d4 heat sinks instead.
I lost this battle, but what of it?  I'm more worried about how easily those trees were knocked over which now that I think of it makes sense what with those giant robots rampaging about.

In future games I want to add brief and simple rules for all those clicky armoured vehicles.  Strange and startling it may sound, but first edition Critter-Tek has just what the doctor ordered.

Integrating microMechwarrior looks to be easy, too.  Instead of the Battletech conversion given in mMW, just use the usual Target Numbers from the stats.  Normally this would make hitting the target with ranged weapons way too difficult and slow the game down.  However the Target Number will be not for short range, but medium instead.  Short range gives a 2 point bonus to-hit, long range a 2 point penalty.

And from there I just have to figure what sort of campaign might go over best.  Straight up bring-n-battle slugging matches, or some light roleplaying leading into the fights.  I don't know.  Depends what I can coax the local players into doing.

Oh, and I need to make up some cardstock buildings too.  I keep forgetting those.


  1. This is so damn cool. Now you've got me wanting to play my own game!

  2. Oh, by the way (regarding your quibbles):

    War of the Mecha was designed to ape the game play and feel of the old BattleTech. This is one of the reasons for the "no soup" crit rolls (in 1st edition BT, one might roll a crit or damage the internal structure and still do no "critical" damage to the mechanized behemoth)...I wanted to keep that potential in the game.

    I can't remember the specific reason for not including a "lose heat sinks" option, though it probably had to do with making the thing more streamlined (the only math I was interested in was "subtracting APs" when shot with a PPC). However, I kind of rolled those HS losses into engine crit chart...I personally always felt it was a little disingenuous to have extra heat sinks located in strategic locations on a mecha (the head, the arm holding the AC20, etc.) so figured MY mecha just had all their HS located where they'd do the most good: around the fusion reactor engine. The extra heat generated from engine hits represents HS being destroyed along with the engine shielding.

    That being said, I have no beef with your house rules and think a D4 loss of HS on a crit is a fine modification.
    : )

    Thanks for playing!

  3. Thanks for mentioning mMW. Glad it's found some use outside of my own games. :)

  4. @JB - Thanks for the explanation about the crits. Totally makes sense and gives the poor bastard on the receiving end a hope at lucking out. I had forgotten that bit of Battletech. Perhaps I should just train my dice to stop rolling ones.

    @ChicagoWiz - To be fair, I haven't got to use mMW yet. But I strongly intend to introduce it at the next meeting (every Saturday).

    Thanks again, you two.

  5. @ Glenn: Hey! Are you playing 1 space of movement = 1 60 degree turn? Or are you doing 1 90 degree turn (as outlined in my rules)?


  6. Hey JB. Because of the size of the clickytech figures and the amount of table we can play with, I'm translating one hex to two inches and saying a 45 degree turn costs one inch. So it's kind of your second option but with a little finer control. Seems to work well enough.

  7. @ Glenn: Thanks for the feedback!
    : )